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Vuelta a España: Stage 1

Distance: 27km
Category: Team time trial
Highest point: 110m

The Vuelta and Galicia have taken a shine to each other in recent years. The race started in Vigo in 2007 and has returned regularly since, most recently last year for no fewer than five stages, one of which finished in Sanxenxo, where German sprinter John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) blasted to victory. This team time trial will, of course, be very different. The test starts at seven in the evening on a pontoon anchored (very firmly we assume) in the Arousa estuary. The flat course stays close to the coast, passing alongside Sanxenxo's renowned Silgar beach just before the finish. Expect most of the top teams from the Tour's TTT in Nice to contend, including Movistar, Vuelta TTT winners last year.

José Azevedo: "Sometimes in Galicia the profile can look flat but it is not flat, it's constantly up and down on small hills. The wind of the sea can be an added complication. It's not a long test but it's clearly important for the riders who have ambitions for the general classification."


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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).

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